Episode Fourteen | Kristen Crowley: An Unfathomable Death, Peabody, Massachusetts

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On the night of June 1, 1996, two ex-Marines and former roommates lied to their girlfriends and headed the local strip club where they spent hours drinking and propositioning dancers. Around 12am, when they failed to convince any of them to leave with them, they happened upon a stunning young woman named Kristen Crowley at a nearby convenience store. They were clearly confusing fantasy with reality. One of the men thought she looked just like one of the girls they'd seen at the club. Within one hour of her chance encounter with these two men, she was dead. This is the unfathomable story of the murder of Kristen Crowley.

Kristen Gove Crowley June 12, 1969 - June 2, 1996

Thank you to journalists JM Lawrence, Julie Manganis, Emily Sweeney for providing information about this story.

Music from Joe Kowalski and Andrew King appears in this episode.

Crime of the Truest Kind

Hosted by Anngelle Wood

Online: crimeofthetruestkind.com

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Photos of Kristen with her family and on her wedding day, and where she was laid to rest in Peabody (I purposely kept them off instagram).

Leather Soul - The History of Leather Town, Peabody, Massachusetts

Gary Cherone with Van Halen


Kristen Crowley | News sources

Interview with JM Lawrence who covered the Kristen Crowley case

Thanks to Julie Manganis of Salem News

Peabody, Mass


Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peabody,_Massachusetts

St John’s Fire https://www.nafi.org/blog/st-johns-school-fire-october-28-1915/#:~:text=John%E2%80%99s%20School%20fire%20was%20a%20deadly%20fire%20that,began%20in%20the%20basement%20of%20the%20school%20building.

Salem News - St John’s Fire, 100 Years Ago https://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/suffer-the-little-children-remembering-the-21-who-died-in-the-st-johns-fire-100/article_d069f2f1-3e88-5be1-8c02-7c6f8fb2d2ec.html Leather Soul - the tanneries of Peabody https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl43P3yYU0I

Kristen Crowley’s killer John P. Keegan Dies in Prison - his obit 2013 https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/southofboston-ledger/obituary.aspx?n=john-p-keegan&pid=166835587&fhid=20823

Marine Corps Discharge Terms


Documentary: The Empty Chair: Death Penalty Yes or No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEVo2ennFSw

Documentary appearance by Susan Gove Ramunda


South Coast Today, Dykens Trial


Patch - Parole Denied to Killer in 1996 Slaying of Peabody Woman https://patch.com/massachusetts/peabody/parole-denied-to-killer-in-1996-slaying-of-peabody-woman

Kristen’s grave site



Boston Globe - Peabody woman stalked, killed Police charge 2 men in attack Matthew Brelis, June 3, 1996 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/290784253/78259A94C15543A3PQ/5?accountid=9675

Boston Globe - Suspects leered at victim, prosecutor says: [City Edition] Zachary Dowdy, June 11, 1996 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/290790961/fulltext/4D56A3EB92BC4D04PQ/2?accountid=9675 Boston Globe - Murdered woman's message: Beware Unlike Peabody case, most know killer Karen Avenoso, June 25, 1996 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/290791754/310F1F87FD4044CAPQ/9?accountid=9675

Boston Globe - Two defendants arraigned in Peabody woman's death Beth Daley, June 26, 1996 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/290783072/310F1F87FD4044CAPQ/6?accountid=9675

Boston Globe - Man held in killing got probation in ex-girlfriend's beating: [City Edition] Zachary Dowdy, June 5, 1995 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/290791617/78259A94C15543A3PQ/9?accountid=9675 Boston Globe - Jury tours sites in Peabody slaying Zachary Dowdy, Oct 21, 1997

https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/docview/403886509/10A01F7FC25146F1PQ/15?accountid=9675 Boston Globe - Deadly bludgeoning ended woman's night out with friends Karen Avenoso, June 4, 1996


2 charged in murder propositioned 2d dancer Zachary Dowdy, Oct 22m 1997 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/403895025/BD8B47B2DD844BECPQ/2?accountid=9675

CBS Boston - John Keegan wants parole (clip) https://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/10/04/man-convicted-in-1996-death-of-peabody-woman-seeks-parole

Killer in 1996 Peabody murder denied parole, Nov 2012 https://www.wickedlocal.com/article/20121102/NEWS/311029457 Peabody Patch - Crowley 'Lives On' in Dedication of Trail in Her Memory John Castelluccio, Jun 17, 2013 https://patch.com/massachusetts/peabody/crowley-lives-on-in-dedication-of-trail-in-her-memory

Salem News - 'I could have saved her' Killer blames co-defendant while seeking parole Julie Manganis, Oct 5, 2011


Lawrence Eagle Tribune - Kristen Crowley killer dies in prison Alan Burke, Sept 7, 2013


Lynn Item - Susan Gove speaks at parole hearing


Salem News - One of men convicted in Peabody woman's death seeks parole Julie Manganis, Oct 3, 2011 https://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/one-of-men-convicted-in-peabody-womans-death-seeks-parole/article_cd3010a1-7dbd-5711-9675-1a2164e71d42.html Salem News - Kristen Crowley killer dies in prison Alan Burke, Sept 7, 2013 https://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/kristen-crowley-killer-dies-in-prison/article_dd8ace7c-ac9e-5a11-a23a-5f520078cbc7.html

AP News - Few Knew Murder Victim Lived Two Lives Ed Golden, June 3, 1996 https://apnews.com/article/78e52f5e06a36f9fb6f0d28aeea4834c Southcoast News - Dehumanizing headline https://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/19960604/News/306049952 Boston Herald - Victim’s kin: Killer should ‘rot in prison’ Oct 5, 2011 https://www.bostonherald.com/2011/10/05/victims-kin-killer-should-rot-in-prison Killer gets life term in Peabody case Caroline Cole, Oct 28, 1997 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/403903131/F45F0000E28842A3PQ/1?accountid=9675

Boston Globe - Deadly bludgeoning ended woman's night out with friends Karen Avenoso, June 4, 1996


Boston Globe - Grand jury indicts two men in murder of Peabody woman Pamela Ferdinand, June 13, 1996 https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.bpl.org/bostonglobe/docview/403765654/2B70DF3EB72E4862PQ/5?accountid=9675